Title

Broome Campus Flag Raising Ceremony Commemorates 1967 Referendum

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 6-19-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Broome

Publication Place

Broome

Abstract

More than fifty people recently gathered at The University of Notre Dame Australia Broome Campus for a flag raising ceremony to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the 1967 referendum.

Yawuru elder Cissy Djaigween performed the Welcome to Country before handing over to long time Campus supporter Esther Bevan who spoke of the importance of the link between Indigenous people and the Broome Campus.
Ceremony host and Broome Campus staff member, Francis Chi then invited six students from the Aboriginal Studies program to read statements relating to the historic event. Three members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community joined with three non-Indigenous Broome residents to raise the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags.

The event concluded with Campus Minister Sr Jill O’Brien sgs leading a Reconciliation blessing in which there was time to reflect on the significance of the ceremony. The guests then retired to the library deck for some afternoon tea.

Aboriginal Studies lecturer Cindy Solonec, who organised the event, said there was still a long way to go in terms of all Australians gaining equality.
“It is occasions like this that covey the goodwill of like-minded people in meeting social justice goals,” Mrs Solonec said.
“Notre Dame’s Broome Campus for Reconciliation provides an excellent educational arena for non-Aboriginal people to relate directly to Aboriginal people and to learn about our history and culture.”

Ms Solonec said the 1967 Referendum was a significant event, but was just one of many challenges Indigenous Australians have had to struggle for to achieve both civil and Indigenous rights.
“There are several milestones this year including the 10th anniversary of the Bringing them home: The 'Stolen Children' report on May 26, the 15th anniversary of the Mabo decision on June 3 and NAIDOC will celebrate 50 Years on July 8,” she said.